June 14, 2010

More Questions Answered on EA

This above photo is of a baby girl who lived as a frozen embryo, was adopted through our agency Nightlight, and finished growing inside her adoptive mother's womb. Isn't she beautiful?

**Watch this short news piece on Embryo Adoption. Both the genetic family and the adoptive family are interviewed: I couldn't embed it, but click HERE to see some cutie pies!**

Great questions friends!
Thank you for caring and praying and taking the time to learn about this not-so-well-known type of adoption. First, let me say that everyone has an opinion about how they feel about IVF. As Christians, we have found that even within our own faith there are differing stances on IVF and donor sperm/eggs with IVF. Those of you who know us well, know where we stand on these issues or at least know we have strong opinions based on Scripture on these issues.

Rhea and I have made fertility choices in our past, but God used these choices to grow us and even bring us to this very place where we are today in the adoption process. We also have or will do things in this life that God will reveal to us through His Holy Spirit in the future. Sanctification is a process for all believers and we respect each of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are on this same path with us. So, if you would like to discuss those types of issues, Rhea and I are available, but privately, by e-mail. We welcome discussion on these matters with Christian love and humility. Our focus in embryo adoption (EA) is on these little ones waiting in freezers who need a chance to continue to grow and live.

With that said, let's wrap our arms around some of the practical questions that have been asked of us recently. Ready? : )

My sweet friend Rachel who I have known since we were both on the road to adopt from Taiwan. God led Dan & Rachel to Ethiopia and they have since adopted the most beautiful little girl!

Rachel asked: so in order to do this kind of adoption, you have to go through the entire homestudy process?
answer: No, you do not. Sadly, in fact, in the U.S.A., embryos are considered property and not children and the legal paperwork reflects this. Agencies choose to use the term "adoption", because they consider embryos children--life beginning at conception--even if it is under a microscope in a lab. Agencies like Bethany and Nightlight, require a complete home study as they consider EA an adoption of a child(ren). The homestudy is written as a domestic home study with the educational component focusing on the EA and perparing for open adoption.

There are other programs/websites where adoptive parents and genetic parents can connect to make arrangements themselves (I can share those in later posts). In these cases, a HS is not a requirement at all. Rhea chose (& I fully agreed with his decision), to go with Nightlight Christian Adoptions and submit a full home study in order to adopt embryos.

One of dearest friends and prayer partners over the years had some wonderful heartfelt questions about EA. One question she asked was answered by Jennifer the other day (thank you Jennifer)! I wanted to share her response as well as our answers. She and her husband are working with Bethany Christian Services to adopt their embryos and they are scheduled to have their FET (frozen embryo transfer) in 5 short weeks!

QUESTION: How do they (the ministry, I guess) prevent this from becoming a "commodity" in the future (in other words, not encouraging IVF in the first place)?

JENNIFER'S ANSWER: My husband and I are also in the embryo adoption process. I know that Shannon will answer your questions, but I did want to take a minute myself to respond to your first question: "How does the ministry prevent this from becoming a "commodity" and encouraging IVF in the first place?"

Well, they're certainly not encouraging couples to go through IVF and freeze their embryos. However, the fact is that many couples will choose to do that anyway (and often times, they will intend to transfer all of their embryos later but can't due to becoming ill, divorces, etc). When I've encountered this question, I've tried to explain that it is the same question that would be asked to an adopting couple regarding an unmarried girl who is choosing to give her child up for adoption: "Well, if a couple adopts her child, then wouldn't other unmarried girls would have an incentive to have sex before marriage?" But, we both know that's just not true... Adoption has always been around and embryo adoption is no different. Couples will continue to go through in-vitro, just like unmarried boys and girls will sadly continue to go against God's plan and have sex before marriage and become pregnant and unprepared to raise a child. And just like these unborn babies in the womb need families, so do frozen embryos. Once someone has already made the decision to create them and aren't able or willing to have any more children, someone must be willing to carry them or they'll stay frozen or die.

I hope this helped to explain it a bit more!

Shannon: I will post our answer--which is very similar on a future post

QUESTION: How does the cost of this compare with a typical domestic adoption?

ANSWER: In comparing costs, for us, through Nightlight, the cost will be $7000-$8000. Our Homestudy update was $1500+, the doctor, meds, and clinic fees will be $3,000+ Costs vary depending on the agency or what EA adoption route you take.

...coming soon in my next post...answers to these questions...How do you approach this topic (EA) with your adopted child? When do you tell them you have adopted them? Will the younger children --in our home--(pre-birds and bees) know that this is an adoption?

Do you have more questions? Keep them coming! It was God's timing alone that we were led to this type of adoption. I will say though that we are excited to share about EA and educate others as we learn because God may use you to share this information with someone else! We have already been contacted by a young couple in our area who want to learn more about EA themselves. They had never heard of or knew this was an adoption option.

Finally, the Leevster got his top braces put on today. I took some pics and I will post them this week. My has that guy grown!

This is a video put out by our adoption agency; again, with both the genetic family & the adoptive family. All children you see are children born through EA.


  1. My Friend,

    Behind I am, once again, but sending heartfelt wishes for a beautiful journey ahead as you hope to add another blessing to your beautiful family!

    How amazing that each of us finds that one true path but the end result is another miracle or maybe more!!

    Thank you for sharing more about this process; one I know so little about.

  2. This was beautifully written and love the input! I'd love to pipe in re: how to tell the child/siblings....what we've done at least!

    I will add this post under our EA header! thanks for the videos and more! Can't help but get teared up when we're living the dream!

    So excited that God is using you in this mighty way!

  3. very interesting! i remember hearing about this maybe a decade ago. so great to learn more about it. many blessings on your journey!

  4. Shannon. Would like to ask you a question privately. I need your e-mail address. Mine is Merryheart665@Hotmail.com

  5. Dear Shannon..I'm just so happy for you guys!! By the way, I'm staying very busy with Amanda and the kids here so I couldn't watch the video..but I wanted to let you know that Sunday's post featured your kids and our trip to Galveston..eating watermelon. :o)

  6. Hi Shannon,

    So, you really struck up some great conversation in my household last night!! I'm still thinking about it and I do have a couple questions for you. How many children do you adopt at once? Do they attempt to implant them all at once? Or do you have multiple tries in case the first does not work out? If they do save some embryos for multiple attempts, but it works the first time, do you then have the burden of figuring out what to do with the other souls left behind? I'm so excited for you!
    Be blessed,


We love to hear from you! Please leave us a comment or ask a question.

Design by © Small Bird Studios